Tuesday, December 11, 2012

1966 World Series Game 3: "A Test of Wills"

Game 3 - Tiger Stadium
The series moves to Detroit with the Tigers so far dominating the favored Dodgers.  LA sent Don Sutton to the mound to try to reverse the Detroit mojo, while the Tigers countered with the talented but inconsistent Denny McLain.  The Dodgers wasted no time trying to prove the two losses in LA were a fluke, scoring 3 runs in the 1st on a Tommy Davis single and Lou Johnson's 2-run HR.  The 22 year old McLain looked more irritated than flustered and struck out Al Ferrara to end the inning.  The score remained 3-0 LA until the bottom of the 3rd when Sutton, with 2 outs, walked two and then allowed a double to Willie Horton and a single by Jim Northrup to tie it up.  LA countered with a run in the 4th on a bases loaded force out, with 2 outs and the bases still loaded Tommie Davis sent a screaming line drive to center field but gold glover Al Kaline was there to end the threat. 
In the bottom of the exciting 4th the Tigers took the lead when Orlando McFarlane homered just inside the left field foul pole and McLain, Kaline and ... you guessed it, Norm Cash, singled to plate McLain.  Detroit added a key insurance run in the 6th when the Tiger's other clutch hitter Dick McAuliffe drove in Jerry Lumpe, who definitely did not hit like a lump in the playoffs.  Neither team scored in the 7th and 8th, setting the stage for the desperate Dodgers to try to mount a rally in the 9th.  A tired McLain had been removed in the 8th in favor of Detroit closer (and former Dodger) Larry Sherry, who has been excellent through most of the post-season.  However, Sherry walked Al Ferrara and Wes Parker sandwiched around a fly out.  After pinch hitter Dick Stuart also flied out Detroit brought in lefty Hank Aguirre to pitch to Willie Davis.  The Dodgers answered that move with pinch hitter Nate Oliver, who came through with a single to cut the lead to one run.  Maury Wills strolled to the plate with the tying run only 90 feet away.  Aguirre, who had been up and down warming in the bullpen, looked tired, but Detroit left him in to pitch to Wills, hoping that Wills relative weakness vs lefty's would be the deciding factor in the matchup.  Aguirre rewarded their faith (in percentages), inducing Wills to pop out to end the game, giving Detroit a commanding 3 game lead.  Detroit 6-5, 
Tigers lead the series 3-0.
--submitted by Jack Mudd--

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